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Candidates running in District 10 debate the myriad problems facing southeast San Francisco

This Week's Paper

weekcoverPOT OLYMPICS: Weed-smoking pro athletes blow smoke at lazy pothead streotypes. Plus: Supervisor candidates tackle gun violence in the Bayview, Mezcal becomes a victim of its own popularity, and our Best of the Bay Readers Poll is here. Articles Online | Digital Edition | VOTE FOR BEST OF THE BAY

From the Blogs

Opinion: For Democratic unity

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We ran out of space in today's print edition and couldn't publish either of the two opeds I wanted to run, so I'm posting them here. The first one is by the chairman of the SF Democratic Party.

By  Aaron Peskin

As one of the most Democratic cities in California, San Francisco has a special responsibility to make sure we help elect a Democratic ticket on November 2nd.  We always take that responsibility seriously – but this year we will have the pleasure of helping elect our own to statewide office: Gavin Newsom as Lt. Governor, Kamala Harris as Attorney General and even native son Jerry Brown as California’s next Governor.

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The family Yañez and their evolving altars

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To hear father and son artistic team Rene and Rio Yañez talk about San Francisco's Day of the Dead celebration is to realize how much the holiday has taken on its own light here in the city. “It's about personal experience, but also politics,” Rene says. The duo have crafted another year of homage to the dead around us -- and in so doing also reflect a shifting scene in San Francisco art.

No art event in the city reflects evolving tradition more than the Yañezs' yearly exhibit of Dia de los Muertos altars at SOMArts Cultural Center (opening Fri/8). As the three of us sit in Rene's office at SOMArts next to the cow brain in a mason jar on top of which the elder Yañez -- the center's director of special projects -- has stacked a pair of headphones and a plush Taco Bell chihuahua, Rene tells his son and myself about the first public Day of the Dead celebration in San Francisco. Read more »

Quick Lit: Oct. 6-Oct. 12

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Litquake 2010 goes out with a bang featuring novelists, scientists, poets, comedians, sexy storytellers, and more, culminating in this year’s not-to-be-missed Lit Crawl.

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The D6 Ranked Choice debacle

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I must admit, I was pretty astonished when I read that Jane Kim had endorsed two other candidates in District 6, and Debra Walker wasn't among them.Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Lydia, Fillmore and Jackson

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The strangest election ever

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It's getting really wierd out there. There's a campaign video featuring the white face of a dark-haired politician emerging from an all-black background and proclaiming:

"I am not a witch."

And she's a serious (more or less) candidate for the United States Senate. Check out the strangest campaign ad of the year after the jump.<--break->Read more »

Hotel plan revives old question: Can the Presidio Trust be trusted?

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In San Francisco's Presidio, one of the few national parks that is mandated to pay for its operations with the proceeds from development, historic preservation is often undermined by commercial concerns. And critics contend the proposal for a big new hotel at the Main Post is a prime example of that model's shortcomings.Read more »

Ebony Hillbillies string along Hardly Strictly's biggest year yet

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Nine hundred thousand people and over 70 bands braved the drifting fog banks for this weekend's 10th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. With a crowd that size, you have to think logistics. So at my interview with HSB bankroller-birthday boy Warren Hellman well before the madness, I asked who were the up and comers to look out for. I chicken-danced our way through Speedway Meadows accordingly.

“The Ebony Hillbillies,” Hellman told me, chuckling over lead singer – and as the band's press kit explains, “bones” of the group -- Gloria Gassaway's penchant for abrupt audience interaction. The HSB performance would be its first in the Bay Area, and Hellman was happy to have been its means of infiltration, particularly for Gassaway's no-nonsense stage presence. “She's quite a woman,” he said. Read more »

SFBG Radio: Is the Republican Party a cult?

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In today's epidsode, Johnny and Tim talk about the showdown in Fresno, the Dream Act -- and whether the Republican Party has become a cult. Listen after the jump. Read more »

Appetite: Dinner and cocktails with a view

Gazing deliciously upon the city at Luce and Top of the Mark

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Wednesday  through Saturday nights there's a ready-made date if you want romance without having to think too hard. At $80 a person, it's a package deal between Luce Restaurant (which I've written about more than once) in the Intercontinental Hotel and Top of the Mark. Choose the order - three course dinner or cocktails first - with a cab ride included to the second location. Read more »

Street Threads: Look of the Day

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Today's Look: Lisa and Evan, Washington and Fillmore

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Hotel Frank fires key union organizer

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Managers at Hotel Frank, who have been sparring with their employees since taking over the financially troubled hotel following a bank foreclosure earlier this year, last week fired an outspoken union organizer on the day after the hotel was targeted by a boisterous picket line. But the employee, longtime bellman Marc Norton, said this transparent effort to intimidate the workers won't work.Read more »

Appetite: The green fairy transforms

ABSINTHE - education through a panel, a new book, and a night of absinthe at the Ferry Building

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Absinthe is on the move from its initial novelty phase once finally legalized in the US in 2007 into an era where appreciators of fine drink are gaining greater education and refinement on the subject. No, it is not a hallucinogen (more on that in a minute), and no, it's not the artificially sweetened and colored liqueurs flooding the market (but labeled as absinthe). When made as it has been historically, it's a natural, herbal spirit with a rich culture surrounding it. Read more »

Downtown money hits district races

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Downtown cash is pouring into the district supervisorial races.

Ethics Department filings show that an alliance backed by the Chamber of Commerce, the SF Police Officers Association and United Health Care Workers West is dropping major money on Steve Moss in D10, Scott Wiener in D8 and Theresa Sparks in D6. 

Called the “Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth,” the coalition supports the building of a mega-hospital on Cathedral Hill. Read more »

Quick Lit: Oct. 1-Oct. 5

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Literary readings, book tours, and talks this week

Litquake is back from Oct. 1-9 with more than 550 authors and events. Find out how to catch some this week after the jump. Read more »